Five Big Ideas From NAEM’s 2019 InnoTech Conference

NAEM Staff
March 18, 2019
2019 Software, Innovation and Technology Showcase
We had a great time last week connecting with those of you who joined us at NAEM’s 2019 Software, Innovation & Technology Showcase! Between the training workshops, user case studies and exciting new innovations, we came away filled with fresh ideas and a strong sense of what’s emerging among environment, health and safety, and sustainability (EHS&S) software users today. Our conversations with all of you spotlighted five key takeaways on what it takes to effectively manage EHS&S data within companies today. 

  1. Strong management systems beget streamlined data management. Technology may continue to evolve, but there are a few fundamentals that seem enduring when it comes to EHS&S software implementation. The stronger the management system, the easier it is for your organization to digitize the workflow. If you’re in the market for the first time, or you’re having trouble with user engagement, you might want to start with an audit of your management system.

  2. The best approach may not be a software system, but a software ecosystem. If you’re dealing with a complex organizational design, or global operations, you may not be able to completely standardize your workflows and data management process. The good news is that you’re not alone. According to NAEM research, point solutions and third-party software continue to bridge key functionality gaps among even the most sophisticated companies with the most robust budgets. The key is to find a system that addresses your biggest needs and focus on centralizing your master data set, rather than attempting a single, enterprise-wide implementation.

  3. Integration is a growing concern. Given the emerging wisdom that no one system may be able to solve every need, today’s software customers increasingly want their systems to integrate well with one another. NAEM's latest research reveals that ‘software integration’ is the top purchase criteria for those returning to the market.

  4. Your implementation will live — or die — by your users. When it comes to software, it always comes back to the user. If you choose a system that doesn’t reflect how your employees work, you’d better prepare for an uphill climb on the training and rollout stage. And if the systems you’re considering are lacking on the design side, you might find it reflected in low user engagement over the long-term.

  5. Silicon Valley wasn’t built in a day. Great things take time, and software is no exception. Those who have been through the process (and are still going through it) will say that it’s okay to create a vision for what you’re building, but be prepared to start small. Choose a provider that you like and implement a couple of modules. Get your users engaged around the change and see where else you can go. It’s hard to underestimate the momentum an early win can create, so why not set yourself up for one?

Do you relate to any of these? What did you learn at last week’s conference? Check out #NAEMTech19 to read more highlights or to share your own comments and reactions.

About the Author

NAEM Staff
The National Association for Environmental, Health and Safety, and Sustainability (EHS&S) Management (NAEM) empowers corporate leaders to advance environmental stewardship, create safe and healthy workplaces and promote global sustainability. As the leading business community for EHS&S decision-makers, we provide engaging forums, a curated network, peer benchmarking, research insights and tools for solving today’s corporate EHS&S management challenges. Visit us online at naem.org.

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